Seth Godin


American Author, Entrepreneur, Marketer and Public Speaker

Author Quotes

We?re extremely adroit at hiding our fear. Most of our lives in public are spent papering over, rationalizing, and otherwise denying our fear. We go to war because we?re afraid, and we often go to spiritual events for the very same reason.

Traditional corporations, particularly large-scale service and manufacturing businesses are organized for efficiency. Or consistency. But not joy. Joy comes from surprise and connection and humanity and transparency and new...If you fear special requests, if you staff with cogs, if you have to put it all in a manual, then the chances of amazing someone are really quite low. These organizations have people who will try to patch problems over after the fact, instead of motivated people eager to delight on the spot. The alternative, it seems, is to organize for joy. These are the companies that give their people the freedom (and the expectation) that they will create, connect and surprise. These are the organizations that embrace someone who make a difference, as opposed to searching the employee handbook for a rule that was violated.

Understanding that your job is to make something happen changes what you do all day.

We have embraced the industrial propaganda with such enthusiasm that we have changed the very nature of our dreams.

We?ve been raised with a false belief. We mistakenly believe that criticism leads to failure. From the time we get to school, we?re taught that being noticed is almost always bad. It gets us sent to the principal?s office, not to Harvard.

Traditional sales and marketing involves increasing market shares, which means selling as much of your product as you can to as many customers as possible. One-to-one marketing involves driving for a share of customer, which means ensuring that each individual customer who buys your product buys more product, buys only your brand, and is happy using your product instead of another to solve his problem. The true, current value of any one customer is a function of the customer's future purchases, across all the product lines, brands, and services offered by you.

Very few of us set out to be average or to be typical.

We have little choice but to move beyond quality and seek remarkable, connected, and new. Remarkable, as you've already figured out, demands initiative.

We?ve been teaching, cajoling, and yes, forcing people to hide their empathy and their creativity and pretend that they are fast-moving automatons, machines designed to do the company?s bidding.

Traditional ways of interrupting consumers (TV ads, trade show booths, junk mail) are losing their cost-effectiveness.

Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.

We have no good way to measure a connection or even talk about it.

We?ve been trained to believe that mediocre obedience is a genetic fact for most of the population, but it?s interesting to note that this trait doesn?t show up until after a few years of schooling.

Transferring your passion to your job is far easier than finding a job that happens to match your passion.

Walking in circles Dr. Jan Souman, of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, studied what happens to us when we have no map, no compass, no way to determine landmarks. I?m not talking about a metaphor?he researched what happens to people lost in the woods or stumbling around the Sahara, with no north star, no setting sun to guide them. It turns out we walk in circles. Try as we might to walk in a straight line, to get out of the forest or the desert, we end up back where we started. Our instincts aren?t enough. In the words of Dr. Souman, Don?t trust your senses because even though you might think you are walking in a straight line when you?re not. Human nature is to need a map. If you?re brave enough to draw one, people will follow.

We invest thousands of hours exposing millions of students to fiction and literature, but end up training most of them to never again read for fun.

We?ve been trained to prefer being right to learning something, to prefer passing the test to making a difference, and most of all to prefer fitting in with the right people?

Transparency in the traditional school might destroy it.

We are all special in our own way the moment we choose to be.

We need librarians more than we ever did. What we don't need are mere clerks who guard dead paper. Librarians are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture. For the right librarian, this is the chance of a lifetime.

We?ve gone against our true nature and corporatized, anonymized, and dehumanized as many of our systems as we possibly can.

Treasure what it means to do a day's work. It's our one and only chance to do something productive today, and it's certainly not available to someone merely because he is the high bidder. A day's work is your chance to do art, to create a gift, to do something that matters. As your work gets better and your art becomes more important, competition for your gifts will increase and you'll discover that you can be choosier about whom you give them to.

We are surrounded by bureaucrats, note takers, literalists, manual readers, TGIF laborers, map followers, and fearful employees.

We need original thinkers, provocateurs, and people who care. We need marketers who can lead, salespeople able to risk making a human connection, passionate change makers willing to be shunned if it is necessary for them to make a point. Every organization needs a linchpin, the one person who can bring it together and make a difference. Some organizations haven?t realized this yet, or haven?t articulated it, but we need artists.

Well, if you don?t have time to do it right, what makes you think you?ll have time to do it over?

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American Author, Entrepreneur, Marketer and Public Speaker